A few days ago Mtbr posted a story revealing the top five reasons you should shop at your local bike shop. That was based on my personal experience. My local mountain bike shop is amazing. The staff is friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. They also carry a wide assortment of high end mountain bikes and apparel, including a great selection of women’s products.
But no matter how much I love shopping there and hanging out with the crew, I can’t always justify making purchases there. The problem is price. While I don’t mind paying a little more here and there to support a local business that does so many positive things for our community, I can’t justify (or afford) paying 20-30% more for big ticket items. For those products, I shop online.
While saving money is the main motivator for my web purchases, there’s a number of other great reasons. Here’s my top five:
Let’s start with the obvious. While we’d all love to support our local bike shops, we’re not all made of money. When you can get parts for cheaper online than your bike shop can wholesale, why would you pay more? Online prices are often substantially cheaper, and depending on your place of residence, you may not even have to pay sales tax.
There are some great bike shops out there that are staffed by knowledgeable and passionate employees. Unfortunately, they’re not all like that. Many shops seem to be filled with know it all dickheads or clueless kids. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant with crappy service, so why waste your money at a lame shop?
Everyday life pulls us in different directions. Between work, family, and trying to ride, it’s hard to run down to the store. With online shopping, you don’t have to. Internet retailers are open 24/7, so you can shop at your leisure. And, they generally offer free two-day shipping right to your door.
4. Wider Selection
A bike shop’s inventory is limited by both space and capital. While they’d love to carry a plethora of accessories and components, they need to focus on what sells. Since online outlets don’t have those same overhead constraints, they can stock just about anything you’ll ever need.
Most e-commerce sites have a review section, where you can check ratings and reviews by verified real world users. When you’re buying a product with limited professional reviews, comments from actual riders regarding sizing or quality can help make the decision easier.
Where do you stand? Do you make most of your purchases online or at your local shop?